Industry Partners

Prairie Swine Centre is an affiliate of the University of Saskatchewan

Prairie Swine Centre is grateful for the assistance of the George Morris Centre in developing the economics portion of Pork Insight.

Financial support for the Enterprise Model Project and Pork Insight has been provided by:

Author(s): Jessica G. Gentry and John J. McGlone
Publication Date: January 1, 2003
Reference: Paper presentated at the 3rd International Meeting on Swine Production, Universidade de Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro, April 4-5, 2003, Vila Real, Portugal.
Country: USA


Intensive outdoor pig production systems have been considered in recent years in some
parts of the world. These alternatives to traditional slatted-floor indoor systems may become
more common as environmental and/or animal welfare regulations increase. The objective of this paper is to compare outdoor and indoor pig finishing systems. The results were variable. Some reasons for this variation include differences in pig birth environment, seasonal effects,
and quality of ground or bedding surfaces. Research from Texas Tech University indicates that
outdoor born pigs have higher growth rates but more backfat. A possible advantage for outdoor
rearing may be linked to increased a* values and decreased L* values of the loin muscle. Darker
colored pork is more desirable for export markets because of the increase in water holding
capacity. A careful economic analysis should be conducted to determine if increased backfat and
feed:gain that is associated with outdoor finished pigs could be offset by higher market prices for
meat products from pigs finished in an outdoor environment. Alternative nutrition research
could lead to decreased backfat levels of outdoor finished pigs. If consumers are willing to pay
more for products that are produced as “sustainable”, “natural”, or others, then these production
systems could be very successful in the future. There are some real differences in pork quality noted in the literature. However,
differences in pork quality vary among the different environments that were investigated.
Consumer perception is such that when they enter a retail environment they are willing to buy
pork products with social assurances. In some cases, consumers may believe the alternative pork
products will taste better. We can say quite clearly that alternative products do not taste worse
than conventional products. Pork produced from pigs born and reared outdoors was equal to or
better than pork from conventional systems under some circumstances in our experiences.
Success of alternative production systems will depend on many factors and consumer
“willingness to pay” for these products would certainly increase economic benefits for these
production systems.

Download PDF »

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Slots Master There is no definite strategy or technique that you can use as you play slots